One in four US adults today suffers from occasional sleeplessness that occurs over a relatively short period of time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sleep issues aren’t just a modern problem tied to the hustle and bustle of today’s hectic world. Throughout recorded history, philosophers, poets and scientists around the world have mused over the importance of sleep to physical and mental health.

Across time and geographies, people have been searching for sleep remedies as far back as 2800 B.C. Instead of concocting special elixirs with exotic plants and animals, today you can simply head to your pharmacy. However, navigating the sleep-aid aisle can be overwhelming because there are so many products.

The following questions may help you find the right product for you:

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

If you are having trouble falling asleep due to occasional sleeplessness but aren’t experiencing pain, try a single-active ingredient sleep-aid product containing either diphenhydramine or doxylamine succinate.

For example, Vicks ZzzQuil, containing diphenhydramine, is non-habit forming and can help you fall asleep, so you can wake rested and refreshed. More information can be found at

Do you have occasional sleeplessness accompanied by aches or pains?

If so, consider a sleep-aid that contains a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen. Look for pain reliever plus sleep-aid combination products within the pain section of the sleep-aid aisle.

Do you prefer a natural supplement?

Dietary supplements such as chamomile, valerian or melatonin are available in the supplement portion of the sleep-aid aisle. However, these supplements have not been evaluated and approved by the FDA.

These questions are meant to serve as a guide. Talk to your physician if your sleeplessness persists for more than two weeks.



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